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The present study was performed to investigate whether breast-feeding is associated with early pubertal development among children 7–9 years old in Korea.
Children were divided into those who did and did not receive breast-feeding for 6 months or longer in accordance with the recommendations of the WHO. Pubertal status was determined by clinical examination using Tanner staging.
Prospective observational study.
We conducted a follow-up study of children aged 7–9 years in 2011 who had taken part in the Ewha Birth & Growth Cohort study.
Fifty (22·8 %) of the total of 219 children were in early puberty, with the proportion being slightly higher for girls (24·1 %) than boys (21·4 %). Children who had entered early puberty were taller, weighed more and had a higher concentration of insulin-like growth factor 1. Moreover, the change in weight Z-score from birth to follow-up was significantly lower in children who were breast-fed than in those who were not (weight Z-score change: 0·32 (sd 1·59) v. 0·77 (sd 1·61), respectively, P=0·04). Comparison of breast-feeding by puberty status indicated a preventive association with early puberty in children who were breast-fed for 6 months or longer (OR=0·37; 95 % CI 0·18, 0·74). This association remained significant after adjustment for relevant covariates.
These results demonstrate a beneficial association between breast-feeding and early pubertal development, especially in those breast-fed for 6 months or longer. The study suggests that interventions would need to start early in life to prevent early pubertal development.
Pb is released from bone stores during pregnancy, which constitutes a period of increased bone resorption. A high Na intake has been found to be negatively associated with Ca and adversely associated with bone metabolism. It is possible that a high Na intake during pregnancy increases the blood Pb concentration; however, no previous study has reported on the relationship between Na intake and blood Pb concentration. We thus have investigated this relationship between Na intake and blood Pb concentrations, and examined whether this relationship differs with Ca intake in pregnant Korean women. Blood Pb concentrations were analysed in 1090 pregnant women at mid-pregnancy. Dietary intakes during mid-pregnancy were estimated by a 24 h recall method covering the use of dietary supplements. Blood Pb concentrations in whole-blood samples were analysed using graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Multiple regression analysis performed after adjustment for covariates revealed that maternal Na intake was positively associated with blood Pb concentration during pregnancy, but only when Ca intake was below the estimated average requirement for pregnant Korean women (P= 0·001). The findings of the present study suggest that blood Pb concentration during pregnancy could be minimised by dietary recommendations that include decreased Na and increased Ca intakes.
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether there is any association between preeclampsia and eNOS, DDAH, and VEGF gene polymorphisms, and also to search for a possible association between haplotypes in eNOS, DDHA, and VEGF genes and the risk for preeclampsia. DNA was extracted from whole blood of 223 preeclampsia patients and 237 healthy pregnant women. The genotypes were analyzed by a single base primer extension assay using a SNaPShot assay kit. Results were analyzed with the Student's t-test, Chi-square test, and Logistic regression analysis. Haplotype analyses were performed using Haploview 3.2 version. There were no significant differences in genotype or allele frequencies of eNOS, DDAH, and VEGF gene polymorphisms between preeclampsia patients and controls. No increase in the risk of preeclampsia for those genes was observed under any model of inheritance and there were no statistically significant associations between any haplotypes and preeclampsia risk. Polymorphisms in eNOS, DDAH, and VEGF gene do not seem to be risk factors for preeclampsia.
Zn is an essential element for human growth. The nutritional adequacy of dietary Zn depends not only on the total Zn intake, but also on the type of food source (i.e. of plant or animal origin). We investigated the association between maternal dietary Zn intake from animal and plant food sources and fetal growth. A total of 918 pregnant women at 12–28 weeks of gestation were selected from the Mothers and Children's Environmental Health study in Korea. Dietary intakes in mid-pregnancy were estimated by a 24 h recall method, and subsequent birth weight and height were obtained from medical records. Multiple regression analysis showed that maternal Zn intake from animal food sources and their proportions relative to total Zn intake were positively associated with birth weight (P = 0·034 and 0·045, respectively) and height (P = 0·020 and 0·032, respectively). Conversely, the percentage of Zn intake from plant food sources relative to total Zn intake was negatively associated with birth height (P = 0·026) after adjustment for covariates that may affect fetal growth. The molar ratio of phytate:Zn was negatively associated with birth weight (P = 0·037). In conclusion, we found that the absolute amounts of Zn from different food sources (e.g. animal or plant) and their proportions relative to total Zn intake were significantly associated with birth weight and height. A sufficient amount of Zn intake from animal food sources of a relatively higher Zn bioavailability is thus encouraged for women during pregnancy.
Whereas there are numerous reports in the literature relating the impact of maternal nutritional status on subsequent birth outcome, much less is known about the long-term impact on infant growth after birth. Therefore, we conducted a prospective cohort study to investigate the association of maternal micronutrient status (vitamins A, C and E, folate) and oxidative stress status in pregnancy with infant growth during the first year of life.
Prospective cohort study.
Outpatient clinic of obstetrics, Ewha Womans University Hospital, Seoul, South Korea.
Subjects and methods
Two groups were constructed for this study – the Ewha pregnancy cohort (n = 677) and the infant growth cohort comprising follow-up live newborns of all the recruited pregnant women (n = 317). Maternal serum vitamin and urinary oxidative stress levels were collected and infant weights and heights were measured at birth and at 6 and 12 months after birth.
Division of the subjects into folate-deficient and normal groups revealed that infant weight and height at 0, 6 and 12 months were adversely affected by folate deficiency. High maternal vitamin C was associated with increased infant weight and height at birth and after birth.
Our findings indicate the importance of preventing folate deficiency and supplementing vitamin C during pregnancy.
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